Double standards in US politics

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
DOUBLE STANDARDS IN U.S. GAMBLING

Internet gambling has been singled out for banning on moral reasons in the USA, but look what's happening in land gambling....

Uptight US politicians pandering to the religious conservative vote frequently claim that Internet gambling is addictive and morally wrong. That's when they're not denouncing online gambling for everything else from money laundering to raising funds for terrorists, without producing a shred of evidence. Yet land gambling in the Land of the Free seems to have no limits, as a recent report from Associated Press illustrates.

The report is about West Virginia politicians considering the addition of poker, blackjack and other games to its four slot casinos, which could give West Virginia "...a competitive edge of five to 15 years" at a time when its traditional customers are finding more options closer to home.

But it also includes some interesting information on land gambling's spread throughout the United States, revealing that 37 states now have almost 900 land casinos with more on the way.

The politicians in West Virgina have been reluctant to authorise table games at racetracks which are already filled with thousands of slot machines, wary of the word casino. But if lawmakers make the psychological leap this year, West Virginia could distinguish itself and cash in on the increasing demand for more 'socially interactive' games.

The long-term demand for table games is uncertain, but with 61 000 new slot machines coming online in Pennsylvania, West Virginia needs every advantage it can get, says Bill Eadington, director of the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Slot machines account for about 80 percent of all gambling revenues in the United States, but when everyone has them, ...its going to be a lot harder to steal patrons from across borders, he says.

Joseph Weinert, senior vice president of New Jersey consulting firm Spectrum Gaming Group, says casinos spent most of the 1990s removing labour-intensive table games and replacing them with low-maintenance and highly profitable slots.

But that trend has reversed itself in the last three years, fueled partly by the popularity of televised poker tournaments and the 2003 opening of Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, he says. The Borgata proved that if gamblers are offered an attractive mix of amenities, from spa treatments and restaurants to golf, table games could be more profitable.

Slot machines are now so prevalent across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic that table games can be difference-makers, says Weinert. Many young adults who grew up playing computerised and handheld games at home are now ...finding it refreshing and relaxing to be playing a game sitting next to a live person, he says.

West Virginia has the opportunity to get a head start of at least four or five years, Weinert says. Furthermore, if West Virginia doesnt have tables and the neighboring states do, it will be at a competitive disadvantage.

The industry is watching, he says. This is the next logical big leap for slot casinos.

The state tracks that stand to benefit are Tri-State Racetrack and Gaming Center in Nitro, owned by Michigan-based Hartman & Tyner Inc.; Mountaineer Racetrack & Gaming Resort in Chester, owned by MTR Gaming Group Inc.; the Charles Town Races & Slots, owned by Penn National Gaming Inc. of Wyomissing, Pa.; and Wheeling Island Racetrack and Gaming Center, a subsidiary of Delaware North Companies of Buffalo, N.Y.

Meanwhile, racetrack owner Hartman & Tyner is pushing for a 2008 ballot measure that would allow slot machines or full-fledged casinos at Michigan horse tracks, but Vice President Daniel Adkins said such measures are unlikely to pass in places like North and South Carolina, Kentucky and Ohio.

Even if slots were approved, he says, table games would take much longer.
 

Simmo!

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May 29, 2004
Location
England
Nice article Jetset. It's always been pretty obvious that the legislation is about keeping the US $ "in-house" while the way is paved for the land-casinos to come on line without the competition being there. The moral argument never had any foundation with the prevalence of gambling in the USA "offline" or indeed with the carve-outs in the laws for lotteries and horse betting. Smoke and mirrors to win votes and try to counter the WTO arguments no doubt.

But the comment about attracting visitors from other states is interesting in that context.

I have to say that until all this blew up, I never really had any idea how politics in the US worked. I'd always naively assumed that being such a developed country that it would be a legitimate and logical process. But the whole experience has been very eye-opening to this foreign observer. Campaign funding from opponents of online gaming, tacking legislation onto unrelated stuff to ensure it goes through, the whole "terrorism" thing being used more to clean up non-terrorist activities than terrorist, and moral arguments being used to cover up anti-competitive measures.

I'm sure it's no different in the UK, especially in light of the cash-for-honours probe, but nonetheless, in this age of supposed democracy, the whole thing really does make you realise that the general public are just pawns in a huge game of power and money.
 

bromo98

Dormant account
Joined
Mar 13, 2004
Location
Canada
George Carlin said...

"The US was founded on a contradiction, a buncha White Slave owners who wanted to be Free".

If you have or can find his CD - "What the hell am I doing in New Jersey - give it a listen, it was the master at his peak.
 

lots0

Banned User - troll posts - flaming
Joined
Jun 3, 2006
Location
Hell on Earth
I have to say that until all this blew up, I never really had any idea how politics in the US worked. I'd always naively assumed that being such a developed country that it would be a legitimate and logical process. But the whole experience has been very eye-opening to this foreign observer.

I worked for the US government for more years than I care to count.

The most anti government folks I ever met were current or past employees of the government.

All us employees got to see what goes on behind the curtain and how it really all works, it made most of us quite sick.

I won't say any more, mostly because my posts here get moderated quite heavily and very regularly, so why waste my time... Certian points of view are not welcome here, from what I see.
 

Mousey

Ueber Meister Mouse
Joined
Sep 12, 2004
Location
Up$hitCreek
On absurdities, contradictions, and hypocrisies...

When the state of Alabama was vaguely considering legalized gambling and a state lottery, the Mississippi Indian casinos donated heavily to the Alabama Christian Coalition to help the fight against this terrible immorality our fine state was contemplating.

LOBBYIST REPORT NAMES RILEY
Christian Coalition also allegedly took money from tribe
Saturday, June 24, 2006
By TAYLOR BRIGHT
Times Montgomery Bureau tbright@htimes.com
MONTGOMERY - A U.S. Senate report released Thursday said that Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff told a tribal official that former Mississippi Choctaw Chief Phillip Martin spent $13 million to elect Gov. Bob Riley.

The report said William Worfel, former vice chairman of the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, said Abramoff told him in 2005 that Martin had spent the money on Riley's campaign "to get the governor of Alabama elected to keep gaming out of Alabama so it wouldn't hurt ... his market in Mississippi."

The report was made by a committee chaired by Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, which investigated charges that Abramoff and his associate Michael Scanlon, Riley's former spokesman when he was in Congress, defrauded Indian tribes of millions of dollars they gave the two to lobby for them in Washington.

Riley spokesman David Ford dismissed Worfel's statement.

"The claim in this footnote is simply ludicrous and obviously untrue," Ford said Friday. "The whole campaign was $13.8 million approximately," he said.

Ford declined to comment on the possibility that Martin could have spent money supporting Riley while not directly contributing to the campaign.

The report is not clear if Abramoff made the claim because it was true or if he was trying to defraud the Coushatta, who, the report says, looked to the Choctaw efforts as a model to emulate.

Riley in 2002 narrowly defeated former Gov. Don Siegelman, who was running on a lottery platform again. In 1999, Siegelman's lottery campaign failed when evangelical groups mobilized to defeat it.

The report by McCain's Indian Affairs Committee also includes more detail about the Alabama Christian Coalition accepting money from the Mississippi Choctaws, who operate casinos that draw thousands of Alabamians.

Last year, the coalition said an internal investigation concluded it did not violate its own policy against taking money from groups with gambling interests. The coalition's report concluded the money came from non-gambling revenue from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

The Senate committee report includes an e-mail exchange between Abramoff and his executive assistant, Susan Ralston, confirming the payment had been sent to the coalition.

The committee report describes efforts by Ralph Reed, an Abramoff associate and one-time head of the national Christian Coalition, to persuade the Choctaws to hire him to thwart a gaming measure in Alabama in 1999.

Reed was hired, according to the committee report, to "defeat a bill that had passed the Alabama House of Representatives 'authorizing dog tracks in the state to install video poker and other casino-style games on their sites.' "

In a letter to Abramoff, Reed touted his connections with Alabama Christian grass-roots groups, including the Alabama Christian Coalition, the Christian Family Association and "the leading evangelical pastors" in the state.

Reed said his firm, Century Strategies, "has on file over 3,000 pastors and 90,000 religious conservative households in Alabama that can be accessed in this effort."

The Senate report said Reed promised he would use his Christian contacts to defeat the bill.

"We can play (an) operational role in building a strong anti-video poker grassroots structure that will leverage the considerable contacts and reputation of our principals within Alabama, the conservative faith community, and state elected officials," Reed said in his letter to Abramoff.

The committee said it found no evidence that the Mississippi Choctaws authorized any work "to oppose gaming in other Southern states, such as Louisiana and Texas." The Choctaws had no direct contact with Reed, the report said. Instead, Abramoff acted as the liaison between the Choctaws and Reed.
 

Simmo!

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May 29, 2004
Location
England
Certian points of view are not welcome here, from what I see.

Not at all. It's the way they are phrased, or the offence to others they cause, that's the problem. The owner of a website takes responsibility for it's content but unfortunately not everyone thinks of that when posting.

Post away if you feel so inclined - just keep that in mind.
 

casinocide

Dormant account
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Location
somewhere GPS can't find
"The coalition's report concluded the money came from non-gambling revenue from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians."

Wow that's a lot of dreamcatchers and bead necklaces! I wonder if the coalition would accept 10 million dollars from a Mexican drug cartel to defeat legalization of marijuana if they were assured that the revenue actually came from used car sales or some other absurdity. Falwell types seem particularly adept at convincing themselves of the unconvincing.

Same old story here. Professional lobbyists/PR specialists leveraging a group's political power through half truths and good old "emotionally potent oversimplifications" to achieve the ends of their principals (not of course, to be confused with their principles, which do not exist).
 

rhump

Full Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Location
Austria
Many young adults who grew up playing computerised and handheld games at home are now ...finding it refreshing and relaxing to be playing a game sitting next to a live person, he says.

So the state should pay a percentage of the revenue generated to

... online casinos, that educated these young adults :lolup:
 

w8n4win

Newbie member
Joined
Feb 4, 2007
Location
Right Here
What I really like, is the places that allow slot machines but not table games....what has the worst odds? If they are looking out for the publics best interest, it doesn't make sense! :rolleyes:
 

vinylweatherman

You type well loads
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Location
United Kingdom
Envy

What I really like, is the places that allow slot machines but not table games....what has the worst odds? If they are looking out for the publics best interest, it doesn't make sense! :rolleyes:

Quite, I envy the US players who have all these slots at 85% to 90%, if only we had those odds on our UK Fruit Machines instead of the current 70%, or 78% if you are very lucky.
 
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